Football Features

12 forgotten names you (probably) didn’t realise are still technically Premier League players

By Harry Edwards

Published: 14:35, 21 June 2022

The Premier League transfer window officially opened a few weeks ago and sides are already making big moves ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Manchester City have announced the signing of Erling Haaland, Liverpool’s attack will be bolstered by Darwin Nunez while Tottenham have added Ivan Perisic to their roster – with many more arrivals to come across the top flight.

There have also been departures including Antonio Rudiger calling time on his Chelsea career, Juan Mata leaving Manchester United and Fernandinho saying his goodbyes at Man City. There will be a lot more players leaving the Premier League this summer particularly with clubs trying to make room for arrivals.

But every year there are players that some clubs just can’t seem to get rid of, for various reasons. Maybe there isn’t the interest from opposition teams, or the player doesn’t want a move that is offered. Whatever the reason, every year clubs seem to end up with a couple of players set to watch the campaign from afar, forgotten by most opposition fans and even some of his own supporters.

It’s those players that we’re focussing on today, the names you probably didn’t realise are still technically Premier League stars.

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Pablo Mari

Club: Arsenal

Pablo Mari was a strange signing for Arsenal, joining in the January 2020 transfer window on loan from Flamengo and only playing a handful of matches before the move was made permanent that summer – though injury issues played a part in his reduced number of appearances.

Things didn’t go much better in his first full campaign at the Emirates and Mari was eventually loaned to Serie A club Udinese in January 2022, playing 15 times and missing just two league fixtures following his debut. At the end of the season, Udinese sporting director Pierpaolo Marino expressed his desire to sign Mari on a permanent deal but nothing has materialised and he remains an Arsenal player.

Lucas Torreira

Club: Arsenal

Another Arsenal man, Lucas Torreira hasn’t played for the Gunners since July 2020 so you can be forgiven for forgetting he is still part of the Gunners roster. It’s a bizarre occurrence too, as Torreira was excellent for Arsenal after his move from Sampdoria and could have become one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

But Torreira’s promising run in the Arsenal team was brought to an end by injury and he was unable to get his way back into the picture under Mikel Arteta, being sent on loan to Atletico Madrid for the 2020/21 season. The Uruguayan was then sent on loan again to Fiorentina for the 2021/22 campaign with an option to buy in this summer, but the permanent move broke down.

Torreira could still leave Arsenal this summer though, with his agent telling recently: “At the moment there is nothing concrete and there is no news that I can give you. We will see in the next few days.”

Arsenal summer transfer odds 22/23: To sign for before 3rd September Sky Bet
Youri Tielemans 6/4
Serge Gnabry 3/1
Oleksandr Zinchenko 5/1
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 11/2
Jarrod Bowen 10/1
Ruben Neves 12/1
Raphinha 20/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. UK only. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (08:00, 04/07/2022). Be Gamble Aware.

Frederic Guilbert

Club: Aston Villa

Frederic Guilbert was one of Strasbourg’s key players last season as they finished six in Ligue 1, just missing out on a place in European football – a remarkable feat considering they were fighting relegation the year before. But did you know he’s still an Aston Villa player?

The 27-year-old spent 18 months as part of Villa’s first team between 2019 and 2021 but played just 32 times before being loaned out to Strasbourg for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign. Guilbert returned to Strasbourg for the 2021/22 campaign but will report back to Bodymoor Heath ahead of the new season as things stand. Villa fans will no doubt be interested in Guilbert’s future, with one year left on his contract, and whether he’ll be part of Steven Gerrard’s plans next season – as well as Strasbourg supporters hoping for a permanent return.

But they shouldn’t ask his girlfriend Noemie, who wrote on Instagram recently: “Please do not write to me for information on the transfer window, I will not communicate anything at all. You know I’ve been repeating it for a long time but we don’t have the right to communicate anything, whether there’s anything or not, it seems logical.

“My head is on the holidays, the 3 weddings and the baptism that we have during our holidays, nothing else. Then here I share my little life, those of the girls.. but the less talk about football the better.”

Florin Andone

Club: Brighton

Florin Andone joined Brighton in 2018 and, like many strikers before and after him, just couldn’t get up and running in front of goal for the Seagulls. As a result, the Romanian was sent on loan to Galatasaray for the 2019/20 season; it was severely disrupted by two knee injuries, the second a ruptured ACL that would rule him out for almost a year (spent back at Brighton).

Thankfully Andone was able to return to action for the 2021/22 campaign and was sent on loan to La Liga side Cadiz, but he played just nine times across all competitions and managed one goal. The deal came with an option for Cadiz to sign Andone permanently, but it’s hard to see the Spanish side doing that given how little he was used.

Baba Rahman

Club: Chelsea

Excluding academy graduates, only Cesar Azpilicueta has been at Chelsea longer than Baba Rahman among their current squad. Rahman joined Chelsea in August 2015 and has played 23 games for the Blues since then, leaving the club on six different loan spells across his seven-year career.

Schalke (twice), Reims, Real Mallorca, PAOK and Reading have all been temporary homes for Rahman over the years and last season he played 29 times for the Royals in the Championship. Remarkably, Rahman still has another two years left on his contract at Chelsea, signing a three-year extension last summer.

What’s coming in 2022/23?

Chelsea summer transfer odds 22/23: To sign for before 3rd September Sky Bet
Raheem Sterling 1/20
Nathan Ake 4/11
Matthijs de Ligt 1/2
Ousmane Dembele 1/1
Declan Rice 5/2
Raphinha 4/1
Neymar 4/1
Cristiano Ronaldo 5/1
Eden Hazard 5/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. UK only. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (08:00, 04/07/2022). Be Gamble Aware.

Moise Kean

Club: Everton

Moise Kean joined Everton from Juventus in August 2019 with much hype, having shown promise coming through at Juventus, but the Italian struggled to live up to the lofty expectations placed on him. After spending the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, Kean returned to Juventus on a two-year deal last summer with an obligation to buy for £24m.

However, that obligation to buy doesn’t kick in until the end of the 2022/23 campaign so — for one more year — Kean technically remains an Everton and Premier League player. According to recent reports, though, Juventus may look to push through the permanent move this summer so they can sell Kean on. Watch this space.

Kiko Casilla

Club: Leeds

Kiko Casilla was a key member of the Leeds’ squad that finally secured promotion back to the Premier League two years ago but missed the final run in of the 2019/20 Championship campaign through suspension. He was replaced in goal by Illan Meslier and lost the no.1 role to the Frenchman permanently upon Leeds’ top-flight return.

After playing back-up to Meslier in 2020/21, Casilla spent last season on loan at Elche and has quickly been forgotten by Premier League fans and perhaps Leeds themselves as they look to move on from the 35-year-old.

Ben Davies

Club: Liverpool

Liverpool were experiencing a centre-back crisis in January 2021 so their signing of Ben Davies from Preston North End actually made sense. They didn’t need a star, just someone to fill a gap until the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez were fit, and Davies didn’t cost much at all.

But 18 months later, Davies still hasn’t played a game for Liverpool and spent last season on loan at Sheffield United as they looked to gain promotion back to the Premier League. Davies will surely leave Liverpool this summer, but it’ll all depend on whether a team comes in for a permanent deal.

Tom Heaton

Club: Man Utd

Being a third-choice goalkeeper can be a lonely job at times and often some are easily forgotten, unless they become cult heroes like Rob Green at Chelsea in 2018/19 or Scott Carson in the current Man City team. Unfortunately for Tom Heaton, that isn’t really the case.

The veteran goalkeeper made one first-team appearance for Man Utd last season after joining from Burnley and signed on a two-year deal, meaning he isn’t one of the players leaving the club this summer. There’s even an option for a further year at Old Trafford, which would take Heaton to age 38.

Man Utd summer transfer odds 22/23: To sign for before 3rd September
Sky Bet
Frenkie de Jong 4/6
Antony 4/5
Pau Torres 5/2
Denzel Dumfries 3/1
Ruben Neves 5/1
Declan Rice 5/1
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 8/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. UK only. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (08:00, 04/07/2022). Be Gamble Aware.

Jack Clarke

Club: Tottenham

When Tottenham signed Jack Clarke there was a lot of excitement as the Englishman was one of Leeds’ bright stars at the time. However, it just hasn’t worked for Clarke at Tottenham and he’s been forgotten among the young stars that have been brought in from abroad – Clarke is only a few months younger than Dejan Kulusevski.

The 21-year-old has been on loan at Leeds, QPR, Stoke and Sunderland since joining Tottenham and did actually play 45 minutes in qualifying for the Europa Conference League last season.

Tanguy Ndombele

Club: Tottenham

Of course no one is going to forget Tanguy Ndombele, but his departure to Lyon in January was such a comedown from his signing that you could be forgiven for thinking it was permanent. But it wasn’t, it was only a loan move with an option to buy, which has not been triggered.

So Tottenham’s most expensive ever signing will return to the club this summer, unsure over what the future holds for him. Which is a massive shame because he was such a brilliant player when Tottenham first signed him from Lyon.

Patrick Cutrone

Club: Wolves

Another promising player whose time in the Premier League just hasn’t worked out is Patrick Cutrone. The Italian striker joined Wolves in 2019 as a 21-year-old who had been full of promise at AC Milan, but has a goalscoring return of three goals in 28 games across all competitions.

That’s because Cutrone has spent three different spells away from Wolves on loan, first at Fiorentina, then Valencia and most recently Empoli. With one year left on his contract, Wolves will undoubtedly look to move him on amid reports that he is not in Bruno Lage’s plans.



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